Tag Archives: tea

Time, Time, Time.

It’s been a really long time since I posted and mostly that’s because things have changed. (A bit more about that in a minute).

Time, though has been very much on my mind of late as I’ve reached a landmark year in my life. I don’t feel the need to say which one, but to help, I’ll give you some facts from my birth year: An Iconic Beatles album was released, it had been a year since England won the World Cup, the UK’s first Shopping Mall was built, and Noel Gallagher, Mark Llamarr, and Davina McCall were born (so I’m in good company).

Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

It’s been a real thinking time, though. I have days when I’ve been less warrior and more worrier, and my overthinking brain has taken over, so getting to at least half-way in my life had given me plenty of food for thought (too much). By the time I got to my birthday, though, after an amazing, funny, dance and laughter filled party with those closest to me, I shook my head and made some decisions:

  1. Living fully hasn’t passed me by, and there are loads of fun times to be had yet.
  2. Life is too short to waste angsting about how short life is.
  3. If I care so much about how long I have, I’d probably better look after the body I inhabit.

I feel I’m over it, at least for the next 10 years.

So – time.. Now a good amount of time has passed since we last conversed. It’s a year since I last posted (God, how could that…. Stop right there! That’s how you got into the angsty time thing mentioned above) Anyway it has, and I’m sure you’ve all been having as much fun as me, and I have certainly had some serious life changes:

We bought a house, my son left home and went to Uni, I left my shop.

We’ll skip past the first one quickly  – So I’ve now got an amazing Edwardian town house in the lovely Guisborough. I’ve filled it with colour already, and I’m so chuffed with it it’s probably worthy of it’s own post.

The Grand Arcade, Leeds

My son is doing Music Tech at Uni in Leeds. Like his Sister and Dad, he has the music gene, except he also has a good dollop of my techy nerdiness, so this is a good thing. He’s been there a year, has a fab house now and loves the whole Leeds vibe. Yet another post I think, especially on Leeds where I spend more time now than I expected to! I absolutely went through the whole empty nest thing, and I have to admit it took a real effort to get used to not having him around (especially our cups of tea and chat late on when his dad and sister have gone to bed) but he’s doing brilliantly and I’m chuffed for him.

And then I left the shop I shared with the 4 other wonderful ladies in Guisborough, and it’s simply about time…

So, for those who don’t know, most of my days are spent in my work as Projects Officer for an arts charity, so I’m there 4 days, and it’s an amazing role, bringing me in touch with some of the most fantastic interesting people. On top of that there are markets and shops to work with; No.30 Westgate in Guisborough now stocking a blend I madewith them as well as Preston Park Museum who I’ve developed new Teesmade teas with in collaboration with River Tees Rediscovered.

Crafts in the Pen, Skipton

There are workshops and bigger events  – The Festival of Thrift on the horizon, and even Christmas Markets to think about. I’ve been accepted for Crafts in the Pen too, and I couldn’t be happier. There are lots of things to make and do!

I get asked constantly how I fit it all in and I honestly don’t know, but I do know that trying to manage everything with a Chronic Pain illness, mean things don’t always get done as they should, and when that happens, something has to give.

So it was a hard decision to leave the fabulous Maison Belle and my fellow Belles there, and I wish the ladies all the love and luck in the world, but I’m off to packet up some tea…

It’s all about time….

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Thriftfest on our doorstep, Discovering Berlin, Whole lot of Rosie update

Thriftfest on our Doorstep

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Image: Festival of Thrift

It’s that time of the year again! My favourite yearly event rolls into town, and this time it’s almost on our doorstep, in the neighbouring town of Redcar.

The Festival of thrift was devised and began three years ago as a collaboration between a local business man (who just happened to own Lingfield Point, the funkiest industrial estate you’ve ever seen) and retro genius, designer and Red or Dead owner  Wayne Hemingway. I visited in year 1, met one of my now closest friends who had a stall (hello Jane) and was totally won over by it all.  Finally something totally up my street had arrived in the Tees Valley!

Year 1 brought 17,000 visitors and I knew at the end of the two days I just had to be part of the next one. A year passed, and in year two I was there with my stall, and my book classes, with 40,000 visitors, my friends Geraldine and Abi selling too, and the lovely ladies from the Bobbin Shed (at the time artists in residence at Lingfield Point) as well as hundreds of stalls, classes activities and loads of shows. In year 3 the visitors had topped 45,000.

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Image: festival of thrift

This year there’s been a change. The fab F0T people have decided to move the event and bring it to Kirkleatham, on the edge of seaside town Redcar. Kirkleatham is what remains of the village that surrounded Kirkleatham hall and is a hidden gem of gorgeous homes, a stunning little church and buildings which now serve as a Museum, almshouses and a bird sanctuary.

I’ll be doing a new thrifty ‘Mini-screenprinting’ class, suitable for those aged 14+, which can be booked here, and will be selling on my stall with the help of my children George and Sadie.  To find out more about this fab event which comes our way on 17-18 September, click here.

Discovering Berlin 

This Summer we visited Berlin. In September my son will be off on a new adventure, starting Uni in Leeds, so this one was a special ‘last time we’ll all live together’ holiday.

Thoughts: amazing laid back city, creative as could be with plenty to see and do. SAFE, even at night, everyone is laid back and pace is slow. Rush hour still isn’t packed and S & U Bahn trains are clean and efficient – go by tram if you want to see the place..

Loads of graffiti on everything! Everyone lives in a flat, has a bike and a bottle of beer. Police are calm even if there’s been a spectacular accident (which we observed). If you try to speak German you’ll probably find the person you’re talking to is Australian.

There are urban beaches all over ( you need to find them) and a swimming pool in the river. You can tour the city on a hired bike, on a Trabant tour, in a mini-dragracer, in a horse and carriage, or on a London Bus. Sit outside and eat, take in the atmosphere in Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain (where we stayed) in E Berlin. Do a river trip in Moby Dick and wonder at the modernist government buildings around the Reichstag. Visit the old Jewish quarter of Scheunenviertel with its galleries, gorgeous old buildings and the labyrinth of independent shops in the Hackescher Markt 

If you go, go on a Sunday when all the amazing flea markets in the east of the city are on. If you miss that, then every Tuesday there’s a fabulous Turkish market in Neukoelln, full of gorgeous eastern food, fabrics, jewellery and sounds. … Wonderful.

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Whole lot of Rosie Update 

The life of a creative is never smooth, but always interesting!

WLoR Design 4In-between my job at TeesValley Arts, our shop, the markets and events, somewhere there is a creative / foodie business. So – how far have I got with the update of my tea brand? I have the new name, domain name, and email address sorted, and next has been the logo and labels.

Summer is always busy, I try and fit spending time with my children between all this and there are holidays to be had (see above) as well as events to prep for, but I’ve got back to the drawing board (literally) and made myself everything I need.

New name, labels in hand, some images to take next and we will be off! Whole lot of Rosie teas will be here soon, with a new site where you can look and buy. WLoR design 3WLoR design 2WLoR design 1

Making Stuff Happen, a Change on Tea Corner.

Making Stuff Happen.

So  – if you know me, you’ll know that I am always up to something or other. I find that throwing myself into a challenge is the best sort of therapy there is (I have some experience of therapy, I know these things).

I’m a pragmatic person, and don’t believe that your luck is made by, well, luck as it goes! I personally think it’s a combination of continuing to work at it, seeing everything as an opportunity, and being able to adapt when things don’t work out.

Now I can’t say that that has made me a multi millionaire, but the age I am now, I’m quite clear about what I want in life and what makes me happy, and though being a multi-millionaire in its-self is, I’m sure, a great goal for some it’s not mine. What I’ve searched for in life are a few things.

  1. To be able to work with vulnerable people (I knew this from working with children as a Primary School Teacher) I am able to do through my role at Tees Valley Arts, and the workshops I do too.
  2. Have opportunities and outlets for being creative. This sounds more simple than it is. I have what I have heard called a ‘portfolio career’ so I make my way in life with some paid work from different sources, from some selling, some workshops and whatever else comes up. This doesn’t leave a lot of time for the creative stuff, so any time I have to make is precious.
  3. Having freedom (see above). I am really fortunate – I do have some days which I’m tied to in the week, but have loads of wriggle room, and I try to keep a day I can use for me/swapping/workshops, which works really well. Having freedom is a vital part of what I do, and as I am a long term Fibromyalgia sufferer, means if I need to I can use that one day to recharge – sometimes that means a day in bed.
  4. Working with and helping others. I love working in out team at the shop. It means the world to me, likewise our market and Saltburn Farmers’ Market. I am part of these mini-communities, and within each one are people who inspire, support and are brilliant fun! At TVA I’ve recently written research on how we can support our local Arts and Makers communities, so more on that as it progresses.

There’s always something happening. You have to talk to lots of people, keep your eyes open, separate the real opportunities from those which will distract you from where you want to go (I have learned that not every opportunity is worth seeking further.) Some, however do seem to have dropped in your lap from who knows where… Keeping your eyes open and the conversations gong sometimes really pays off.

A Change at Tea Corner

All this talk of opportunity, and I can’t yet tell you about the one that really has been dropped at my lap, but can say that something exciting is in the offing, and it’s where my teas and a major local tourist attraction meet…. I’ll leave that with you for now.

So, there will be some changes. I made a decision a while ago, based on where the tea sales were going and who was buying my tea, to have a bit of a shake up.

The main changes I made were based on the buying demographic. Many of my buyers are men, yet I sell a brand of tea labelled in what I consider to be a somewhat female manner, and have wanted to make a change to this for some time.

I didn’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but have decided to rename the tea brand, away from Ruby and Blue. So it will very soon be called Taaadaaadaaaaa…..

Whole Lot Of Rosie Teas. 

I love the song ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’ by AC-DC. I suppose I identify with the lyrics. It’s sort of  flattering in a round about sledgehammer way, written in 1977 when feminism played no part in rock music but tells of a love of an ample lady (such as me!)

Wanna tell you storya whole lotta rosie
About woman I know
When it comes to lovin’
She steals the show
She ain’t exactly pretty
Ain’t exactly small
Fourt’two thirt’ninefiftysix
You could say she’s got it all

Labels will change too  – less of the flowers and more of the plain cups of tea.. still hand-drawn by me. I won’t be taking away my personal touch. The new website and FB pages will have less of a female lilt. I’m going for a mid-century feel.

Watch this space…

 

 

 

Rosie Lea and Weekly Wonders

Gosh! It has been a while since I posted on here, but SO much has happened! Will tell you more at the end, as I do a little recap of the year!

Let’s start with a little Rosy Lea. As you know if you follow my of my rose-tea-1920-1080-6003blog, my love of all things tea has led to me starting my own Ruby and Blue Tea brand, with a nice little range for sale in Maison Belle, and soon to be for sale in two cafes, one in Redcar and one in Chaloner Street, Guisborough. My latest tea for the tasting, I have actually called ‘Rosie Lea’ after the Cockney rhyming slang for tea. It’s a gorgeous blend of rose buds and petals from Tuscany, which can be drunk as a tea on it’s own or added to your favourite leaf tea to make your own blend. I’ll very soon be able to give you the whole lowdown on the available teas on my dedicated tea page, but for now, I’ve added all the details of this delightful and refreshing tea. To go with, I’ll be making some rose inspired makes for the shop, and will have pics as soon as they’re done.

10898230_558608530942062_53106454900584494_nOver the years, I’ve done lots of classes of all types with all ages, and I particularly enjoy the classes I’ve run at Leven Crafts, because I love the space and the ladies on the shop, Ruth and Lorna are two of the most delightful and supportive people I have met. Happily I can report that from February 2014, I’ll now be running a weekly class, which will run Tuesday evenings in school term-time from 7- 9, and my great friend Geraldine will be doing them with me too. Here’s the poster with all the info and further details of exactly what’s running can be found here. tuesday classes flier

The Maison Belles, Tea and Thriftfest

I start this post with some fantastic news ..

After successfully selling some little bits and bobs in gorgeous Guisborough shop Maison Belle, I’ve been asked by the wonderful owner Laura to have a more substantial presence there.

So, from 11th Oct I’ll be one of the ‘Maison Belles’ The four artists maison belleshe has asked to join her in the shop. Not only will we be retailing alongside Laura’s own stock and work, you might just find us in there holding the fort!

With me and Laura will be my best friend Geraldine of ‘Bean Creative’ (with whom you’ll often see me sharing a stall or doing a workshop ), Abi of ‘Oh Abigail‘ … another wonderful friend and painter of the most amazing handmade signs, and by no means least my friend of 30+ years since we were at Art College together, Kim from ‘Daisy Bloom‘, purveyor of the most stunning bags, scarves and jewellery.

Allowing us to sell and help in the shop allows Laura to concentrate on her new project, the prettiest little cottage literally doors away from me! Couldn’t be more excited.

TEA !   …. If you know me, you’ll know I totally love my specialist teas. I’m not talking fruit teas here (unless you mean Cherry blossom green tea), I mean real leaf teas…

My obsession with tea started as a child, and as a young adult was soon exposed to the delights of Earl Grey. I have passed this on to at least one of my children, with my son drinking Earl Grey with lemon from the age of 8, and seeking out the tea section in Harrods the last time we visited.

Running a teashop I could totally indulge in my love of tea and helped by Carly the owner of The Old Young Teahouse I filled the shelves with all manner of interesting brews… a year on from my exit from the shop and I am missing being around the stuff , so after a great conversation with Rockwood & Hoot’s Jane , I’ve decided to sell teas!

I’ll be selling under my own Ruby & Blue brand and you’ll be able to buy soon at Maision Belle as well as order here. Crack out the china teacups!

THRIFTING in Darlo…

What an amazing time we had at The Festival of Thrift at Lingfield Point in Darlington .. 20,000+ people came on day 1 and more on day 2 … It was buzzing!

On top of that we got the most amazing feedback from the festival organisers for both my ‘Kitchen Cupboard Books’ class and for our stall…

The stallholders, food , entertainment and classes were all superb and Geraldine and I had an absolute ball (if a tiring one!) The photos tell the story (and you can see my Ruby van in the last one). Totally booking for next year!